Thursday, October 10, 2013

[Blog Tour - Review & Giveaway] - Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

I am excited today to be hosting Jamie McGuire's blog tour for her newest release, Red Hill.  Red Hill is a different kind of book, full of zombies and apocalyptic romance.  Keep reading for my review and a giveaway!

When the world ends, can love survive?  For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.  When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined.  Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.  Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?  Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.

Red Hill is the zombie romance book from acclaimed writer Jamie McGuire.  Let me stop you right here.  If you are looking for Travis Maddox, don't read any further.  This book is different.  It in no way resembles anything that McGuire has written in the past.  This is a dark UF book, full of heartbreak and terrifying moments.

Scarlet is an x-ray tech.  She is recently divorced from a seemingly terrible husband.  The one good thing she took from her marriage is her two girls.  One day on the radio, Scarlet hears reports of a virus spreading in Europe.  Although the news seems rather scary, the United States doesn't seem to be taking any precautions.  While on duty at the hospital, Scarlet witnesses the beginning of the zombie proliferation and invasion.  The hospital becomes flooded by sick people.  Once a zombie bites a person, the person becomes deathly ill.  Once the virus gets rooted in a person's brain, the virus takes over and flesh eating zombies are born.  Scarlet does what she has to do to exit the hospital and find her two daughters, who happen to be spending some time with their father a few towns over.  Although Scarlet risks life and limb to locate her daughters, she fails and is left with finding a refuge on the off chance that her daughters survive the zombie onslaught.

Nathan has a self-centered, narcissistic wife and a special needs child.  When he first hears about the virus outbreak, he rushed to school to rescue his daughter and takes off to find refuge.  He soon learns that his wife is gone and he and his daughter are on their own.  What he finds is a world in shambles.  The government has taken to shooting first and asking questions later, his brother-in-law is in a heartbreaking predicament and he needs to find a safe place to raise his daughter.  

Miranda, Bryce, Ashley and Cooper are college kids trying to escape the chaos around them.  Sisters Miranda and Ashley are fighting for their lives and trying to get themselves and their boyfriends to safety.  Their father is a doctor in the he hospital Scarlet works at, and he has a ranch in Red Hill.  This brave group of four people fight their way through difficult circumstances to find their father and to secure their safety.

This book is told through the points of view of Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda.  I enjoy this type of storytelling very much.  I like seeing the world through the eyes of three very different people with very different motivations.  This style makes you care about all of the characters in the in this book.  

I really liked the relationship between Scarlet and Nathan.  Although it happened rather quickly, I think in this type of world, survivors couldn't take one another for granted.  It's either love with your whole heart or you might not see them again.  Scarlet looks to Nathan for support while she waits unknowing whether her girls are dead or alive, or whether or not they know how to find her.  Scarlet would have gone insane with worry if not for Nathan.  Scarlet is also very good for Nathan.  He came from a dead end relationship and through Scarlet, realizes that he is a good man and can be a good husband.  He understands that the marriage he had was toxic and the outcome was not his fault.  I love how both Scarlet and Nathan love their kids more than anything in the world.  These two would gladly die if it meant their daughters could be safe from the zombies.

I also enjoyed the tension between Miranda, Bryce, and Joey.  Joey is an ex-soldier who has his own losses that he is dealing with.  The end of the world seems to bring out the truth in people.  I love Miranda's hard ass attitude and her drive to keep her loved ones safe.  She is smart and level-headed and she was my favorite character in this book.

There are a few reasons why I took off a star on this review.  Although the writing is very well done, there just wasn't too much new in this is book to add to the zombie genre.  There wasn't really a new take or a twist on zombies.  There was mention about citizens being susceptible to the zombie virus if they had a flu shot, but this wasn't enough to give zombies a fresh look.  I also wasn't thrilled with the way this book ended.  On one hand, it was fitting.  However, had I been in the characters' situation, I don't think I would have made the same decision.  I kind of feel like there could have been more to this book.  The characters story lines were relatively wrapped up, but I feel like there's more.  This could have been a two book story, where we could have had more focused development of these characters and an ending that would have been a bit more revealing.

Over all, I enjoyed this book very much.  I hope that McGuire continues writing UF.  I feel that her bread and butter are her characters and the rich qualities she writes in them.  I think with a bit more character depth and some additional action sequences, McGuire could make some big news in year UF world.

Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.Her most recent novel, Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written bestselling contemporary romance Beautiful Disaster, and the Providence series.Jamie now lives in Enid, OK with her three children and husband Jeff, who is a real, live cowboy. They share their 30 acres with six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.

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Braine TS said...

I dislike insta-love but in this context I can tolerate it. Carpe Diem right? And this is more appealing to me than her angsty NA debut series. Thanks for the review Jamie!

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